2011 MLB Organizational Talent Rankings
We present our annual organization talent rankings, evaluating each farm system based on its prospect-eligible players heading into the 2011 season. Our ratings consider both impact talent and overall depth and were developed by the Baseball America staff. The writeups for each organization were done by Jim Callis.
|1. KANSAS CITY ROYALS|
|2010 Rank: 16. 2009 Rank: 11.|
|Impact Talent: The Royals set a record by placing nine players on our Top 100 Prospects list, starting with three of the very best hitting prospects in the minors in 1B Eric Hosmer, 3B Mike Moustakas and OF Wil Myers. They also have an enviable collection of lefthanders, led by John Lamb, Mike Montgomery, Danny Duffy and Chris Dwyer. SS Christian Colon may move to second base, but in any case he'll provide quality offense for a middle infielder.|
|Depth: Four successive strong drafts and an increased international presence have given Kansas City depth at most positions and throughout the minors. In 2010 alone, the Royals signed Colon, OF Brett Eibner and RHP Jason Adam and traded for RHPs Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress and LHP Tim Collins.|
|2011 Rookies: Moustakas is ready after tying for the minor league lead with 36 homers last year, though Kansas City probably will have him spend a couple of months in Triple-A before giving him a job. The rest of the Royals' top prospects are another year or two away.
|2. TAMPA BAY RAYS|
|2010 Rank: 1. 2009 Rank: 4.|
|Impact Talent: RHP Jeremy Hellickson was BA's 2010 Minor League Player of the Year, while LHP Matt Moore topped the minors in strikeouts for the second straight year. OF Desmond Jennings has the potential to become the next Carl Crawford. RHP Chris Archer and SS Hak-Ju Lee arrived from the Cubs in a January trade for Matt Garza. LHP Jake McGee has shown closer's stuff since returning from Tommy John surgery. OF Josh Sale was the best high school power hitter in the 2010 draft.|
|Depth: Starting with taking SS Tim Beckham with the No. 1 overall pick in 2008, the Rays haven't drafted as well as they had in previous years. They hope they began to reverse that trend last June by getting Sale, C Justin O'Conner and OF Drew Vettleson before the start of the second round.|
|2011 Rookies: Hellickson, who turned in four quality big league starts in as many tries last August, will take over for Garza. Jennings will help replace Crawford. McGee will play a major role in a revamped bullpen. C Robinson Chirinos, another piece of the Garza deal, could see considerable playing time.
|3. ATLANTA BRAVES|
|2010 Rank: 9. 2009 Rank: 6.|
|Impact Talent: RHP Julio Teheran, the best pitching prospect in the game, draws Pedro Martinez comps for his skinny frame and electric stuff. Starting with Teheran and continuing with RHPs Randall Delgado, Craig Kimbrel and Arodys Vizcaino and LHP Mike Minor, the Braves have as much frontline pitching as anyone. 1B Freddie Freeman should team with roommate Jason Heyward to form the heart of Atlanta lineups for years to come.|
|Depth: The Braves added more balance to their system by strengthening their stock of position players in 2010. They drafted SSs Matt Lipka and Andrelton Simmons, OF Todd Cunningham and 3B Joe Leonard; signed SS Edward Salcedo out of the Dominican Republic; and traded for SS Tyler Pastornicky.|
|2011 Rookies: Freeman already has wrapped up Atlanta's first-base job. After posting a 0.44 ERA in his big league debut last summer, Kimbrel will get first crack at replacing Billy Wagner at closer. Minor and RHP Brandon Beachy, the 2010 minor league ERA leader (1.73), are competing for the final spot in the rotation.
|4. TORONTO BLUE JAYS|
|2010 Rank: 19. 2009 Rank: 19.|
|Impact Talent: Since Alex Anthopoulos took over as GM in October 2009, no team has added as much prospect talent. His big move was trading Roy Halladay to the Phillies for RHP Kyle Drabek, C Travis d'Arnaud and OF Michael Taylor (who turned into OF Anthony Gose after two subsequent deals). The Blue Jays spent $11.6 million on the 2010 draft, starting with $2 million for first-round RHP Deck McGuire. Toronto grabbed another quality prospect in December, sending Shaun Marcum to the Brewers for 2B/3B Brett Lawrie.|
|Depth: With a few notable exceptions, such as Drabek and Lawrie, most of the Jays' best prospects are a couple of years away. Few teams can match their lower-level talent, which they boosted by handing out 20 six-figure bonuses in the 2010 draft and also the largest bonus on the international amateur market last summer ($2.8 million for Venezuelan RHP Adonis Cardona). Toronto also is notable for its group of catchers: d'Arnaud, Triple-A Pacific Coast League MVP J.P. Arencibia, short-season New York-Penn League top prospect Carlos Perez and sleeper A.J. Jimenez.|
|2011 Rookies: Drabek and Arencibia will get starting roles after making big league cameos late last season. Versatile RHP Zach Stewart could join the rotation or bullpen at midseason.
|5. NEW YORK YANKEES|
|2010 Rank: 22. 2009 Rank: 15.|
|Impact Talent: Jesus Montero and Gary Sanchez are the two best catching prospects in baseball, though Montero's shaky defense may eventually lead him to move from behind the plate. LHP Manny Banuelos and RHPs Dellin Betances and Andrew Brackman all took huge steps forward in 2010.|
|Depth: The Yankees can match their collection of catchers (which also includes Top 100 Prospect Austin Romine) and upper-level pitching (the Killer B's, plus RHPs Hector Noesi, Adam Warren, Ivan Nova and David Phelps) against any system's. New York climbed higher in our rankings from 2010-11 than any organization, not so much because it added new talent but more because many of its prospects had breakthrough seasons.|
|2011 Rookies: Montero is the best hitter among the Yankees' backstop options, and he'll open the season with at least a share of the catching job. Nova has the inside track to begin the season as New York's No. 5 starter. The Yankees will need more rotation help, which could create opportunities for Banuelos, Betances and others.
|6. CINCINNATI REDS|
|2010 Rank: 17. 2009 Rank: 14.|
|Impact Talent: LHP Aroldis Chapman is all about big numbers, signing a $30.25 million contract and throwing the hardest recorded fastball in big league history at 105.1 mph. SS Billy Hamilton and OF Yorman Rodriguez are two high-ceiling athletes who will make their full-season debuts in 2011. Devin Mesoraco and Yasmani Grandal give the Reds a pair of solid all-around catchers.|
|Depth: The Reds have one of the few systems that has a legitimate potential big league starter at every position. They don't spend lavishly on the draft, but they're effective nonetheless, as evidenced by their last seven first-round picks: Homer Bailey, Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs, Mesoraco, 1B Yonder Alonso, Mike Leake and Grandal.|
|2011 Rookies: Chapman could supplant Francisco Cordero as Cincinnati's closer, sooner rather than later. The defending National League Central champs don't have many job openings, but Alonso, 3B Juan Francisco, SS Zack Cozart and 2B Chris Valaika don't have much left to prove in Triple-A.
|7. CLEVELAND INDIANS|
|2010 Rank: 3. 2009 Rank: 7.|
|Impact Talent: 3B Lonnie Chisenhall and 2B Jason Kipnis have the bats to pump some life into the Indians' offense. RHP Alex White and LHP Drew Pomeranz could have a similar effect on the pitching staff.|
|Depth: Cleveland stole Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips and Grady Sizemore from the Expos for Bartolo Colon in 2002, and lived for years by finding most of its young talent via trades. That has started to change, with the Indians hitting big on their last three first-rounders (Chisenhall, White, Pomeranz) and having the best draft of any team in 2010. Besides Pomeranz, they also landed skilled up-the-middle players in OF LeVon Washington, SS Tony Wolters and C Alex Lavisky.|
|2011 Rookies: Chisenhall hit .478 in big league camp before getting farmed out, but he'll be back before too long because he's easily Cleveland's most attractive option at third base. White and Kipnis also will start the season in Triple-A and push for promotions in the second half.
|8. SAN DIEGO PADRES|
|2010 Rank: 20. 2009 Rank: 29.|
|Impact Talent: Three of the Padres' top four prospects—RHP Casey Kelly, 1B Anthony Rizzo, OF Reymond Fuentes—arrived in the Adrian Gonzalez trade with the Red Sox in December. San Diego's best homegrown talent is RHP Simon Castro. The lack of a notable Padres draft pick speaks to the organization's recent lack of success in that regard.|
|Depth: San Diego has acquired many of its best prospects since dropping to 29th (ahead of only the Astros) in our 2009 rankings. Besides the Gonzalez deal, the Padres also have stocked up via the 2009 (OF Donavan Tate, C Jason Hagerty, RHP Matt Lollis) and 2010 drafts (3B Jedd Gyorko, RHPs Zach Cates and Johnny Barbato). However, injuries and strikeouts have prevented Tate from living up to the $6.25 million bonus he received as the No. 3 overall pick.|
|2011 Rookies: LHP Cory Luebke held his own during three September starts in the heat of the NL West race, laying the groundwork for claiming a rotation spot in 2011.
|9. COLORADO ROCKIES|
|2010 Rank: 10. 2009 Rank: 20.|
|Impact Talent: Scouts rated LHP Tyler Matzek as the best of a deep 2009 high school pitching crop, though he has needed more polish than expected. Wilin Rosario established himself as one of the game's top catching prospects before tearing up his right knee last August. 3B Nolan Arenado has batted at least .300 in each of his two pro seasons, and his power is coming.|
|Depth: The Rockies have been more aggressive in the last two drafts, which have yielded six of their nine best prospects in Matzek, Arenado, RHPs Peter Tago and Chad Bettis, OF Kyle Parker and LHP Rex Brothers. They have a nice collection of southpaws with Matzek, Christian Friedrich (if he can stay healthy), Brothers and sleeper Matt Reynolds. A former 20th-round pick, Reynolds had a 2.00 ERA in 21 big league relief appearances last year.|
|2011 Rookies: Colorado doesn't have any prime rookie-of-the-year candidates. Relievers Reynolds and Brothers will have the biggest chance to contribute.
|10. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES|
|2010 Rank: 18. 2009 Rank: 12.|
|Impact Talent: No team does better work in the later rounds of the draft than the Phillies. They have four Top 100 Prospects, none of whom was taking in the first rounds: OF Domonic Brown (20th round), 1B/OF Jonathan Singleton (eighth) and RHPs Brody Colvin (seventh) and Jarred Cosart (38th).|
|Depth: Philadelphia has cleaned out the upper levels of its system in trades for Joe Blanton, Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt the last three years, but more talent is on the way. Low Class A Lakewood has won consecutive South Atlantic League titles, and last year's club was loaded with promising prospects such as Singleton, Colvin, Cosart, RHP Trevor May, C Sebastian Valle and OF Jiwan James.|
|2011 Rookies: Brown figured to be one of the top rookies in the NL before he broke the hamate bone in his right hand in early March, requiring surgery that could cost him a couple of weeks at the start of the season and may hamper his power once he returns. RHPs Vance Worley and Scott Mathieson could help in bullpen roles.|
|11. LOS ANGELES DODGERS|
|2010 Rank: 21. 2009 Rank: 23.|
|Impact Talent: With four above-average or better tools, Dee Gordon is as athletic as any shortstop prospect in the minors. The Dodgers shocked the industry by signing supposedly unsignable RHP Zach Lee away from Louisiana State's football team for $5.25 million last August. RHP Rubby de la Rosa has added 40 pounds since signing, with the added strength boosting his fastball to as high as 102 mph.|
|Depth: Lee and de la Rosa are at the forefront of a deep group of righthanders that also includes first-round picks Chris Withrow and Ethan Martin, 18th-round steal Allen Webster and converted catcher Kenley Jansen. Withrow, Martin and Jansen all have hit 98 mph or higher with their fastballs.|
|2011 Rookies: Jansen was untouchable after arriving in Los Angeles last July, striking out 41 while allowing just 12 hits and two runs in 27 innings. With closer Jonathan Broxton struggling this spring, Jansen could wind up finishing games for the Dodgers.
|12. MINNESOTA TWINS|
|2010 Rank: 6. 2009 Rank: 22.|
|Impact Talent: RHP Kyle Gibson reached Triple-A in his 2010 pro debut, showing above-average stuff and command. OF Aaron Hicks and Joe Benson still need to hone their hitting skills, but there's no denying their all-around tools. 3B/SS Miguel Sano, who signed for $3.15 million out of the Dominican Republic in 2009, has light-tower power.|
|Depth: Gibson, Hicks and Benson exemplify the Twins' focus on polished pitchers and toolsy outfielders. RHP Liam Hendriks, Alex Wimmers and Adrian Salcedo fit into the former group; Ben Revere, Oswaldo ARcia, Max Kepler, Rene Tosoni, Angel Morales and Eddie Rosario do so into the latter.|
|2011 Rookies: He already has better stuff than anyone in Minnesota's rotation outside of Francisco Liriano, so Gibson won't have to wait too long in Triple-A. 2B/SS Tsuyoshi Nishioka, the Twins' first Japanese import, should provide a line-drive bat, some speed on the bases and solid defense.
|13. WASHINGTON NATIONALS|
|2010 Rank: 24. 2009 Rank: 21.|
|Impact Talent: OF Bryce Harper's prodigious power makes him the best prospect in baseball, and his other tools are all above-average as well. Derek Norris and Wilson Ramos give the Nationals a pair of catchers who cracked the Top 100 Prospects list. SS/2B Danny Espinosa was one of three minor leaguers (along with the Giants' Brandon Belt and Mariners' Nick Franklin) to hit 20 homers and steal 20 bases in 2010.|
|Depth: Washington has broken the draft spending record in each of the last two years, shelling out $11.51 million on bonuses in 2009 and $11.93 million in 2010. Most of their top prospects came via over-slot deals: Harper ($6.25 million bonus, $9.9 million contract), Espinosa ($525,000 in the third round), RHP A.J. Cole ($2 million in the fourth), LHP Sammy Solis ($1 million in the second), OF Destin Hood ($1.1 million in the second).|
|2011 Rookies: Espinosa hit six more homers in the majors last September, all but locking up the second-base job for 2011. RHP Yunesky Maya was underwhelming after defecting from Cuba and landing a $7.4 million contract last July, but he looked much better in winter ball and is pushing for a rotation spot.
|14. TEXAS RANGERS|
|2010 Rank: 2. 2009 Rank: 1.|
|Impact Talent: Martin Perez has struggled since reaching Double-A at age 18, but there still aren't many lefthanders with better stuff. SS Jurickson Profar, who'll jump to low Class A at age 18 this year, has five-tool potential and ranked as the top prospect in the short-season Northwest League in 2010. When he's at his best, RHP Tanner Scheppers has an upper-90s fastball and overpowering breaking stuff.|
|Depth: The Rangers are reloading after parlaying the game's top-rated farm system in 2009 into their first-ever World Series appearance in 2010. Few clubs can match their work on the international market—or their talent at the short-season and Rookie levels last summer. Profar is their most talented youngster, followed by 3B Mike Olt, SS Luis Sardinas, OF Jake Skole, RHP David Perez, 3B Christian Villanueva, RHP Roman Mendez and Cs Kellin Deglan and Jorge Alfaro.|
|2011 Rookies: Scheppers could bolster the bullpen on Opening Day or the rotation later in the season, but back stiffness in spring training wasn't helping his cause. LHP Michael Kirkman, who pitched his way onto the World Series roster, also could make the club in either role.
|15. LOS ANGELES ANGELS|
|2010 Rank: 26. 2009 Rank: 25.|
|Impact Talent: OF Mike Trout, No. 2 behind Bryce Harper on the Top 100 Prospect list, might have the best all-around tools in the minors. Jean Segura is a rare five-tool second baseman and will get a look at shortstop in high Class A this year.|
|Depth: The system had fallen on hard times, in large part because the Angels kept sacrificing premium draft picks as free-agent compensation in the mid-2000s. Loaded with extra picks in each of the last two drafts, they've signed Trout, 3B Kaleb Cowart, RHPs Garrett Richards and Cam Bedrosian and OFs Randal Grichuk and Chevez Clarke.|
|2011 Rookies: RHP Jordan Walden finished 2010 as Los Angeles' top set-up man and could end 2011 as its closer. Hank Conger offers more offensive potential than the Angels' other catching options, Jeff Mathis and Bobby Wilson. Kendrys Morales has been slow to return from a broken leg, which could create an opportunity for 1B Mark Trumbo, who tied for the minor league lead with 36 homers last year.
|16. CHICAGO CUBS|
|2010 Rank: 14. 2009 Rank: 27.|
|Impact Talent: OF Brett Jackson has solid or better tools across the board, and he has proven to be a more refined hitter than teams thought after he dropped to the 31st overall pick in 2009. While at Shelton State (Ala.) CC, RHP Trey McNutt fell through the cracks of the same draft; a year later, he reached Double-A and flashed a pair of plus-plus pitches in his fastball and curveball.|
|Depth: Chicago gave up two of its best prospects in January when RHP Chris Archer and SS Hak-Ju Lee headlined the five-player package sent to the Rays in the Matt Garza trade. The Cubs' depth is more impressive than their impact talent, as one pro scout who covered them noted last year that they may have more future big leaguers than any other system.|
|2011 Rookies: Chicago's biggest hole is at second base, and proven winner Darwin Barney may be the man to fill it. Jackson could force his way into the outfield sooner than expected. LHP Scott Maine was one of the Cubs' best relievers last September.
|17. BOSTON RED SOX|
|2010 Rank: 5. 2009 Rank: 13.|
|Impact Talent: SS Jose Iglesias is the best defensive prospect in the minors, and he also has a line-drive swing that should yield solid batting averages. RHP Anthony Ranaudo entered 2010 as the top college prospect in the draft, dropped to the 39th overall pick after elbow problems, then signed for $2.55 million after regaining his health and stuff in the Cape Cod League. LHP Drake Britton is poised for a breakout after putting 2008 Tommy John surgery fully behind him.|
|Depth: The Red Sox surrendered their No. 1 prospect (RHP Casey Kelly), best offensive prospect (1B Anthony Rizzo) and their most athletic prospect (OF Reymond Fuentes) to the Padres in a December trade for Adrian Gonzalez. That thinned out some of the quality of the system, but the lower levels are still stocked with premium arms and athletes.|
|2011 Rookies: Boston doesn't have any obvious openings on a veteran club favored to win the American League pennant. LHP Felix Doubront, INF Yamaico Navarro and OF Josh Reddick could contribute in reserve roles.
|18. SEATTLE MARINERS|
|2010 Rank: 12. 2009 Rank: 24.|
|Impact Talent: 2B Dustin Ackley is as pure a hitter as there is in the minors, though he may be best suited for the outfield. RHP Michael Pineda is a beast who can blow hitters away with a fastball that reaches 101 mph or a hard slider. SS/2B Nick Franklin was a revelation in his first full pro season in 2010, becoming the first teenage middle infielder ever to lead the low Class A Midwest League in homers.|
|Depth: There's a noticeable dropoff after Seattle's three best prospects, though improved drafts and continued strong work internationally give the system decent depth. Many of the Mariners' more intriguing talents (RHP Taijuan Walker, OF Guillermo Pimentel, SS Marcus Littlewood, 3B Ramon Morla, SS Esteilon Peguero, OF Phillips Castillo) are several years away from the major leagues.|
|2011 Rookies: Ackley and Pineda are performing well in big league camp and pushing for starting jobs on Opening Day. Even if Seattle resists that temptation, they're too talented to stay in Triple-A for long.
|19. PITTSBURGH PIRATES|
|2010 Rank: 15. 2009 Rank: 18.|
|Impact Talent: The Pirates landed the two best arms in the 2010 draft, spending a combined $8.75 million to sign RHPs Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie. C Tony Sanchez is a standout defender who has hit better than expected, silencing critics who thought Pittsburgh overdrafted him with the fourth overall pick in 2009.|
|Depth: After 18 straight losing seasons, the Pirates are trying to rebuild from within. They've spent more on draft bonuses than any team in the last three drafts ($30.7 million), going over slot to sign Taillon, Allie, RHP Zack Von Rosenberg, LHP Colton Cain and others. They've also set a new franchise record for an international bonus ($2.6 million for Mexican RHP Luis Heredia last summer) and been active on the trade market (RHP Bryan Morris, LHP Jeff Locke).|
|2011 Rookies: A year after graduating Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata and Neil Walker to the majors, Pittsburgh doesn't have an obvious rookie candidate. After pitching Double-A Altoona to the 2010 Eastern League championship, Morris or LHP Rudy Owens could crack the big league rotation around midseason.
|20. NEW YORK METS|
|2010 Rank: 25. 2009 Rank: 17.|
|Impact Talent: The Mets rushed RHP Jennry Mejia to the big league bullpen last season, but he has the stuff to be a quality starter. SS Wilmer Flores batted .300/.324/.415 in high Class A as a 19-year-old, though he seems destined for the outfield. OF Cesar Puello is another teenage Class A success story, and he has better all-around tools than Flores.|
|Depth: New York's best prospects are raw, high-ceiling international products—a result of the club's stinginess in the draft. The Mets had their best recent draft in 2008, when they signed Ike Davis and 2B Reese Havens in the first round and found OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the third. They also went over slot with RHP Matt Harvey, their 2010 first-rounder.|
|2011 Rookies: RHP Dillon Gee posted a 2.18 ERA in five big league starts last September and will be waiting in the wings in Triple-A. Rule 5 pickup Brad Emaus could get considerable playing time at second base.|
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|21. BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|2010 Rank: 8. 2009 Rank: 9.|
|Impact Talent: The Orioles have the game's best shortstop prospect in Manny Machado, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2010 draft. They also have one of the top lefty pitching prospects in Zach Britton.|
|Depth: There's a huge gap between Machado and Britton and the rest of the system. After promoting Jake Arrieta, Brian Matusz and Matt Wieters to Baltimore in the last two years, there's not much more talent on the way in the near future outside of Britton.|
|2011 Rookies: The Orioles would prefer to give Britton time in Triple-A, but he has pitched so well this spring that he's making a serious bid for the Opening Day roster.
|22. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS|
|2010 Rank: 28. 2009 Rank: 26.|
|Impact Talent: RHP Jarrod Parker's frontline stuff is coming back nicely after he missed all of 2010 recovering from Tommy John surgery. LHP Tyler Skaggs, the key to the Dan Haren trade with the Angels last July, is a classic projectable pitching prospect. 3B Matt Davidson has the best bat among the five position players the Diamondbacks selected in the first two rounds of the 2009 draft.|
|Depth: Arizona's rebuilding project is going to take time because few of their best prospects have advanced past Class A. The strength of the system is corner bats acquired in the last two drafts: 3Bs Matt Davidson, Bobby Borchering and Ryan Wheeler; OFs Marc Krauss and Ty Linton; and 1B Paul Goldschmidt.|
|2011 Rookies: The Diamondbacks will take things slow with Parker, leaving 1B Juan Miranda as the only rookie with a chance for much playing time. Acquired in a November trade for minor leaguer Scottie Allen, Miranda is battling Brandon Allen and Russell Branyan for a regular job.
|23. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS|
|2010 Rank: 4. 2009 Rank: 5.|
|Impact Talent: 1B/OF Brandon Belt was the breakthrough prospect of 2010, reaching Triple-A and leading the minors in hitting (.352) and OPS (1.075) in his pro debut. RHP Zack Wheeler will need some time to develop, but he could be the next in line of young Giants pitching studs.|
|Depth: San Francisco doesn't have an endless supply of Tim Lincecums, Madison Bumgarners and Buster Poseys, so the system isn't what it once was. The Giants have tried to add up-the-middle talent with OFs Gary Brown, Francisco Peguero and Jarrett Parker; SSs Ehire Adrianza and Brandon Crawford; and 2B Charlie Culberson.|
|2011 Rookies: Belt has continued to look like he's legitimate in big league camp. He may have to open the year in Triple-A, but if Pat Burrell, Aubrey Huff or Cody Ross falters or gets hurt, Belt will get the call.
|24. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS|
|2010 Rank: 29. 2009 Rank: 8.|
|Impact Talent: RHP Shelby Miller improved throughout 2010 and could rank as the game's top pitching prospect by the end of 2011. 3B Zack Cox was the best pure hitter in last year's draft. RHPs Carlos Martinez and Tyrell Jenkins are exceedingly raw, but they have exciting arms and loads of upside.|
|Depth: Trades and promotions have thinned out the system, not a good sign with the big league club looking more vulnerably than ever. St. Louis hopes it made significant strides last year with potentially its best draft in recent years (Cox, Jenkins, RHPs Seth Blair and Jordan Swagerty, LHP John Gast) and the signing of Martinez.|
|2011 Rookies: Adam Wainwright's elbow injury could pave the way for innings-eating RHP Lance Lynn to join the rotation. OF/3B Allen Craig could be one of the Cardinals' more productive hitters if they can find a way to get him at-bats.
|25. DETROIT TIGERS|
|2010 Rank: 27. 2009 Rank: 28.|
|Impact Talent: The Tigers have no regrets about spending a combined $8.95 million on RHP Jacob Turner and 3B Nick Castellanos, their top picks in the last two drafts. Turner could be another Justin Verlander in the making, while Castellanos has all the tools to star at the hot corner. Few lefties can match the fastball velocity of Andy Oliver, who sits at 93-94 mph as a starter.|
|Depth: Putting players such as Rick Porcello and Ryan Perry on the fast track has eroded Detroit's minor league depth. The club has tried to address that shortcoming in the last two drafts, adding Turner, Oliver and OF Daniel Fields in 2009 and Castellanos, RHP Chance Ruffin and LHP Drew Smyly in 2010.|
|2011 Rookies: Oliver looked overmatched when he reached the majors during his 2010 pro debut, but he could help the rotation this year after getting more time in Triple-A.
|26. HOUSTON ASTROS|
|2010 Rank: 30. 2009 Rank: 30.|
|Impact Talent: RHP Jordan Lyles already has reached Triple-A and backs up solid stuff with impressive command and poise. 2B/OF Delino DeShields Jr. and SS Jonathan Villar are going to need time to develop, but their athleticism and raw tools are off the charts.|
|Depth: The Astros have been slow to recover from bad drafts in the mid-2000s. They've done better since scouting director Bobby Heck took over in 2008, but there's still work to do. The only obvious strength is middle infielders, with DeShields, Villar and SS Jio Mier.|
|2011 Rookies: Lyles and Rule 5 draft picks Aneury Rodriguez and Lance Pendleton could get looks in the rotation during the season.
|27. CHICAGO WHITE SOX|
|2010 Rank: 23. 2009 Rank: 16.|
|Impact Talent: LHP Chris Sale arrived in the majors two months after the White Sox drafted him and was closing games in September. 1B Dayan Viciedo has light-tower power but needs a position. OF Jared Mitchell's athleticism helped him win championships in football and baseball at Louisiana State, but he missed 2010 with an ankle injury.|
|Depth: No owner is stingier when it comes to draft spending than Jerry Reinsdorf, and no GM is as willing to trade prospects for veterans as Kenny Williams. That combination doesn't often lead to a stacked farm system.|
|2011 Rookies: Though they weren't having great springs, Sale is in the running to be Chicago's closer and 3B Brent Morel is the team's best option at the hot corner.
|28. OAKLAND ATHLETICS|
|2010 Rank: 11. 2009 Rank: 3.|
|Impact Talent: SS Grant Green is an offensive-minded player destined for second base. 1B/OF Chris Carter has the power that Oakland's lineup desperately needs. OF Michael Choice has thunder in his bat, too.|
|Depth: Except for Green, most of the Athletics' best prospects had lackluster or injury-plagued seasons in 2010. They've sent a lot of pitching to the majors in recent years, so now they're relying on bats to produce.|
|2011 Rookies: Oakland signed Hideki Matsui and traded for David DeJesus, Conor Jackson and Josh Willingham, which will make it hard for Carter to find a spot in the lineup. RHP Tyson Ross made the Opening Day roster a year ago, and a strong spring means he could be back soon in 2011.
|29. FLORIDA MARLINS|
|2010 Rank: 7. 2009 Rank: 2.|
|Impact Talent: The Marlins' lone Top 100 Prospect is 3B Matt Dominguez, a gifted defender who may not have more than an ordinary bat. LHP Chad James, OF Christian Yelich and RHP Jhan Marinez offer more upside, if also less consistency at this point.|
|Depth: After Mike Stanton, Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez graduated last season, Florida's farm system is far less formidable. The most obvious area of strength is relief pitchers, which is never a good sign.|
|2011 Rookies: The third-base job is Dominguez's to lose, and he has played well enough in spring training to hold onto it. Scott Cousins may be the answer if Chris Coghlan can't handle center field.
|30. MILWAUKEE BREWERS|
|2010 Rank: 13. 2009 Rank: 10.|
|Impact Talent: After trading 2B/3B Brett Lawrie for Shaun Marcum and including RHP Jake Odorizzi in the Zack Greinke deal, Milwaukee got shut out on the Top 100 Prospects list. Its best prospect is Mark Rogers, who has come back from two shoulder surgeries to pitch in the mid-90s again.|
|Depth: The Brewers went all-in to get Greinke and Marcum and return to contention in 2011, in large part because they've had trouble developing pitching beyond Yovani Gallardo. They've gone heavily after pitching in the last two drafts and are bullish on RHPs Kyle Heckathorn, Jimmy Nelson and Tyler Thornburg.|
|2011 Rookies: The arrival of Greinke and Marcum make it more likely that Rogers will contribute in the bullpen rather than the rotation.|